Punishment of the fiery lake
Sodom and Gomorrah. Jude 1:7 “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, having, in the same way as these, given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire. Eternal (aiōnios), fire (pyr), punishment (dikē).
Gen 19:24 And Jehovah rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from Jehovah out of the heavens.
We all know quite well that the fire has been extinguished a long time ago. The fire could not, therefore, be eternal. The question is what is meant by eternal punishment. Does it mean that the punishment (fire and brimstone) will last forever, or does it mean that the effect of the punishment and its memory will remain forever?
When the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah has become clear to us, we can say that in this case, the issue is the effect of punishment and the preservation of its memory forever. Then the important question: can we generalize and say on this basis that the purpose and meaning of the eternal fire and the punishment of fire and brimstone is the same in all the places where the Bible speaks about it? Could it be possible that God’s eternal punishment, fire, and brimstone, would have different effects depending on the reason for the punishment?
Revelation 14:11. The smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever. They have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.
– Smoke does not rise for a long time, it is a figurative expression that God’s people will forever remember the fate that came to Sodom and Gomorrah and that the same fate will be to the wicked and godless. 14:9 Another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a great voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead, or on his hand,
10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is prepared unmixed in the cup of his anger. He will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.
Mat 25:45 “Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Most assuredly I tell you, inasmuch as you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Mat 5:22 But I tell you, that everyone who is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment; and whoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council; and whoever shall say, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of the fire of Gehenna. – Here are a couple of examples of cases to consider. Based on the examples of the Bible, one could say that we all deserve the fire of hell. None of us is sinless, but all of us can have our sins forgiven and to become confident about the final judgment.